Legg Mason Investors is broadening out the remit of its Telecoms fund to a European technology, medi...
Legg Mason Investors is broadening out the remit of its Telecoms fund to a European technology, media and telecoms trust. It is also permanently reducing the initial charge from 5% to 4.25%.
The fund, to be called Legg Mason European TMT, will continue to be managed by Jeremy Knight, who took over management in October 2002, replacing Neil Massie.
Knight joined Legg Mason in the previous year from First State Investments.
Paul Boughton, managing director at Legg Mason, said the decision is based on the fact that there are strong growth opportunities for this sector, and the group has a strong expertise in pan-European equities, with a six-strong team led by Keiran Gallagher.
'As well as telecommunication companies, the region offers a broad spread of well-managed media and technology companies and we believe some of these companies are set to grow strongly,' Boughton added.
Knight said the fund already held more than 58% of its investments in Europe. Following unit holder approval, assets outside Europe will be sold and reinvested in the continent. The portfolio is concentrated, currently containing 34 holdings, and this is likely to continue.
Boughton said the revamped fund would have a slightly lower level of risk than the existing portfolio as a result of broadening the investment objective.
Over the three years to 6 January, Legg Mason Telecoms has lost 70.1% of its value, after charges, compared to the technology and telecoms sector average, which lost 79.3%. This positions it first of 13 funds in the sector. The Legg Mason fund also holds first position out of 28 funds over one year, after losing 38.6%, offer to bid, compared to the sector average of 52.8%.
For an in-depth look into the performance characteristics of the portfolio and of the technology & telecoms sector in general, see the fund analysis on page 29.
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